Publication Detail

Methodologies for Exploring the Link between Urban Form and Travel Behavior

UCD-ITS-RP-96-30

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Suggested Citation:
Handy, Susan L. (1996) Methodologies for Exploring the Link between Urban Form and Travel Behavior. Transportation Research Part D 1 (2), 151 - 165

Communities are increasingly looking to urban design and the concept of the New Urbanism as an effective strategy for reducing automobile dependence in suburban areas. While the available empirical evidence suggests that automobile travel is lower in traditional-style neighborhoods, it provides limited insights as to how and why, largely because the research methodologies used have been insufficent for the task. Most of the studies addressing this question fall into three categories: simulation studies, aggregate analyses, and disaggregate analyses. Two other approaches offer greater promise for understanding the relationship between urban form and travel behavior: choice models and activity-based analyses. This paper reviews alternative approaches for exploring the link between urban form and travel behavior, outlines issues and complexities that this research must address, and, finally, suggests that the focus of this research should shift from the search for strategies to change behavior to a search for strategies to provide choices.